The Power of Shifting Your Mind

The Power of Shifting Your Mind

The Power of Shifting Your Mind
Posted on December 4, 2019

Seattle TEDx event gave me so much to think about. Speaker Chris Jordan - photographer and filmmaker - talked about how he consciously chose to focus on beauty to be in full capacity to deal with challenges.

With great power and conviction, he explained how our brains go into a state of threat when we focus on problems and how we end up scaring each other. An example he used to help explain this was climate challenge. He explained how calling it an apocalypse is steering us all into a panic state, which is particularly dangerous for our youth. “Such complex challenges require our full attention,” he said. Panic is the last thing we want when our house is on fire. We need laser focus, balance and capacity to deal with it. Therefore, we cannot afford to allow our minds to fall into states of panic. Instead, we need to SHIFT our thinking and focus on the beauty that we are determined to preserve—the world we want to leave for future generations. Let’s focus on the beauty, have a vision and approach each challenge with our brain in a purposeful state.

This is a crucial reminder for leaders too. How many times do we lead with all attention on the problem instead of the desired outcome AND expect people to be creative, collaborative and insightful?

David Emerald brings this idea to the workplace to SHIFT people from reactive to empowered by asking the questions below, which can be found in his book 3 Vital Questions: Transforming Workplace Drama. Try to answer them for yourself and your teams. You may discover some eye-opening hints to SHIFT your own approach.

  • Vital Question #1: Where are you placing your focus? Are you reacting to the problems that trigger your anxiety or are you creating outcomes that matter to you?
  • Vital Question #2: How are you relating? How are you relating to others, to your experience, and even to yourself? Are you relating in ways that produce or perpetuate drama, or in ways that empower others and yourself to be more resourceful, resilient, and innovative?
  • Vital Question #3: What actions are you taking? Are you merely reacting to the problems of the moment, or are you taking creative and generative action—including the solving of problems—in service to outcomes?


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